REFUSE TO REUSE
The prime waterfront property on the edge of West Harlem has not been used to benefit the community directly. Recognizing its industrialized past, The Green Buckle reverses the community’s relationship to their waterfront shifting the focus from refuse to reuse. Primarily by reintroducing the community to the waterfront for recreational and urban farming, as well as educational programs and community gardens.
Thus, not only The Green Buckle becomes an integral part of the continuous green-scape along the Hudson River, but also actively contributes to the community with locally grown green produces and knowledge of healthier lifestyle.
The former Marine Transfer Station was inaccessible for community people due to the drastic elevational change in the neighborhood, especially for senior citizens and the physically-disabled. Creating better connectivity with shuttle bus service and ferry service that utilizes the existing transportation network is the most cost-effective strategy to bring visitors from the residential blocks to reclaim and utilize their waterfront.
PRODUCE FOR THE COMMUNITY
Aquaponic farming is a system that combines hydroponic and aquaculture to achieve a natural balance of food and waste. Incorporating urban farming not only positively supplies the community directly with fresh produce with no environmental waste produced, but also continues the memory of the West Harlem waterfront’s industrial past.
PAST. PRESENT. PROSPECTIVE.
West Harlem’s waterfront was highly industrialized with many factories and a ferry pier between the 19th and 20th centuries. Recognizing the memory of West Harlem, the adaptive reuse of the former 135th street Marine Transfer Station redefines the character of waterfront while preserving traces of the past. Since the former Marine Transfer Station was decommissioned in 2001, the infrastructure has been left unattended and inaccessible to the community. As the structure decays over time, WE ACT, a community-based organization, advocates to reclaim and reuse the site. The Green Buckle incorporate the visions of the community as a design factor to aim for a contextually responsive architectural proposal, and more importantly, to plant a seed that builds awareness of healthy lifestyles.
PLAY AND PRODUCE
A high transparency envelope is used to both fulfill the programmatic needs of the farm and establish a closer connection for visitors to orient and experience the character of their waterfront environment through spacious interior lit by ambient natural light. The project proposes the opportunity to play inside or outside the building, on the ground or on the water, and bring back some fresh greens and herbs to their dinner tables.